First Things

Something Creative

"do it" Exhibition at KIA
encore-magazine-do-it-bourgeois-november-2018
Do it Bourgeous, oval on brick, do it instruction by Louise Bourgeois at Frac des pays de la Loire/HAB Galerie in Nantes, 2016.

There’s no question that do it is unlike any exhibition that the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts has had before.

This touring exhibition arrives at each scheduled location only as a book of 400 instructions, with each venue choosing what to use. The result is a conceptual art exhibition crafted in part by area artists and groups and in real time by visitors.

It opened Oct. 27 at the KIA and runs through March 3. An opening reception is set for 5-8 p.m. Nov. 2, during Art Hop, with free admission to the KIA during that time.

Nayda Collazo-Llorens, Emily Berezowski, Karen Bondarchuk and Audrey Mills are among area artists responding to the do it prompts with original pieces. Other participants include people from the Black Arts & Cultural Center, the Jazz & Creative Institute, the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center and Wellspring/Cori Terry & Dancers, as well as students from Kalamazoo Public Schools and the Education for the Arts program.

Visitors have the opportunity to make art by responding to instructions as they visit, becoming part of the exhibition themselves. One possibility is to take up Yoko Ono’s suggestion: “Make a wish. Write it down on a piece of paper. Fold it and tie it around a branch of a Wish Tree. Ask your friends to do the same. Keep wishing. Until the branches are covered with wishes.” A live tree will be in the KIA to receive people’s wishes.

Two ARTbreak talks related to the exhibition are scheduled. On Nov. 27, Kalamazoo Public Schools art teacher Mandy Clearwaters and Kalamazoo Book Arts Center Director Jeff Abshear will share what they created with help from their students. On Dec. 18, Bondarchuk, Collazo-Llorens and Berezowski will discuss their experiences in creating works for the exhibition. Both talks will be at noon and are free.

For more information, visit kiarts.org.